India coach reacts to Pakistan fans slamming MS Dhoni after England World Cup defeat


MS Dhoni was criticised after India’s World Cup loss to England (Picture: Getty)

India coach Sanjay Bangar has defended MS Dhoni after he received criticism from Pakistan fans and a number of cricket legends following the World Cup defeat to England.

Dhoni made 42 off 31 balls in Sunday’s 31-run defeat in Birmingham but his fairly subdued innings in India’s chase left many scratching their heads.

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum called India’s finish to the match ‘bizarre’ while former spinner Murali Karthik said Dhoni should at least have ‘gone down fighting’.

But India coach Bangar says he did not see ‘anything wrong’ with Dhoni’s knock and praised England for the way they saw the game out.

Pakistan fans slammed Dhoni after the match (Picture: Getty)

‘MS was striking the ball really well. He had good intent,’ Bangar said following India’s first defeat of this World Cup.

‘It’s just that the English bowlers stuck to their task really well. They used the angles and used the large boundaries to their advantages, and they were bowling to a shorter side of the boundary.

‘I mean, I didn’t really find anything wrong in MS’s innings. He was batting beautifully.

‘He had struck a few big blows, and it’s just that in the last four or five overs, the difference between runs required and balls left just kept on creeping up.’

India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar (Picture: Getty)

A number of Pakistan fans took to social media to criticise Dhoni after a defeat which severely impacts their own hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.

After beating India, England know victory over New Zealand on Wednesday will see them through to the knockout stages.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain also questioned Dhoni’s approach, saying on Sky Sports: ‘I am completely baffled. What’s going on!

‘This is not what India needed. They need runs. What are they doing? Some Indian fans are leaving now. Surely they must want to see Dhoni go for his shots, even if he slogs it off in the air.

‘It’s a World Cup game, top two sides, give it a go! Indian fans would want their side to do a little bit more. They want their side to go down with a fight.’

But, speaking after the loss, India captain Virat Kohli defended Dhoni and said the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman was desperately trying to score quicker.

Kohli said: ‘It’s up to the discussions with the two guys in there. MS was trying really hard to get the boundaries. It wasn’t easy because they were bowling really well.

‘When the run-rate got to 14-15 it became tough. We will sit down and assess and try to improve in the next game.’





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